SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Rescue One offered low-cost vaccinations, which may help a problem that shelters are starting to see.

In the Springfield-area, animal shelters are seeing a trend of pet owners returning those pets that they fostered or adopted during COVID-19 quarantine.

The Humane Society of Southwest Missouri and Rescue One tell KOLR10 that many people saw the pandemic as an opportunity to take on a companion, but some realized they couldn’t fulfill their obligations as pet owners.

Director of development Karen Foutch at the Humane Society says this year, many people found themselves with extra time on their hands in quarantine, but eventually, life started to get busy once again.

“We’ve had an increase in returns from that. They were trying to have a pet, and it just didn’t work out. We’re grateful that they did bring them back to us that we could go ahead and find them homes. But we did see an increase in that, specific to puppies. We’re also seeing an increase in animals that have a medical need,” says Foutch.

That can get expensive for pet owners, but today Rescue One teamed up with local vets and other organizations to offer low-cost vaccinations to hopefully help alleviate some of that financial pressure.

“We’re offering rabies vaccination, combo vaccination, which is the DAP, as well as distemper for the dogs. We have availability for cat vaccinations as well. It’s only $10 per vaccination, which is a lot cheaper than if you had to go to a veterinarian,” says Rebecca Gray, Foster Coordinator for Rescue One.

Gray says those medical bills for their pets can add up, leaving people with a tough choice at times.

“Sometimes they are wondering, ‘Should I eat myself or feed my animals?’ There was one woman that said that she is retired, she’s on medicare. Her veterinarian’s office was going to charge over $300 for her two dogs, and with us, it was only going to be $40,” says Gray.

That’s made possible by humans having their hearts in the right place.

“It’s not a profit, it’s about taking care of the animals,” says Gray.

That drive-through clinic only lasted from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and 346 dogs and cats got vaccinated.

Rescue One will be doing another clinic next month, and they’ll have the details on a date and location on their Facebook page.

In the meantime, both they and the Humane Society of SWMO are seeking anyone who can adopt or foster a pet.